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What Marketers Can Learn From Road Safety Campaigns

What Marketers Can Learn from Road Safety Campaigns1

by Pierre de Braux, content strategist at Spiralytics, Inc

Great campaigns have one thing in common — it’s the way their stories are told. Marketers can be great storytellers. If people can relate well to your core message, the material becomes significant, unforgettable, and becomes a source of inspiration.

Take for instance the road safety ad produced for Sussex Road Safety Partnership entitled Embrace Life. The heart-rending low-budget ad was awarded the Gold World Medal at the New York Festival International Advertising Awards, proving that it doesn’t take an out-of-this-world budget to create an award-winning project.

In fact, it’s in these reality-check ad campaigns that you can learn a lesson or two about marketing to your audience. Here are a few great examples of road safety campaigns:

1. Play with perspectives.

think of both sides’s Think of Both Sides campaign is a good example of how perspectives can change someone’s point of view. This campaign puts the point across that children are potentially on both sides of the equation, inside and out.

The strategy of playing with perspectives worked so well on a marketing level because it elicits strong emotions associated with the safety of children. When parents are made to think about the safety of their children, it makes the advertisement a whole lot more compelling.

2. Make it thought-provoking and inspiring.

buckle up

What makes these images from the Buckle up. Stay alive campaign so compelling is their message. Deaths by car collisions and other forms of accidents can be avoided just by buckling up. Each image shows a t-shirt with a date of birth whereby what seems to be a date of death covered up by a seatbelt.

From a marketing perspective, this campaign was highly successful not simply because the idea was creative, but also because they implemented a high level of targeting. The campaign was aimed at 16-24 year olds, with a strong message that discourages turning a blind eye to wearing seatbelts. As you’ll notice, all the dates of birth used in the campaign were that of teenagers and young adults.

road safety

3. Be Informative.

An infographic is a great tool to relay relevant facts in digestible sizes. AIG published this infographic to improve driver education and road safety.

They showed how many lives are robbed by drivers who fail to avoid obstacles on the road as well as where and to whom the majority of these incidents occur.

AIG, being the responsible insurance company that it is, leveraged their data-driven insight and years of claims experience to understand why these road accidents happen. The best aspect of this infographic is the level of information that they were able to acquire because of their industry experience. This made their effort far more informative and difficult for anyone to duplicate.


4. Be bold and creative. Don’t be afraid to express yourself.

bold creative

ThaiHealth organization must have heard Albert Einstein say that creativity is intelligence having fun.

The road safety campaign they released (courtesy of BBDO Bangkok) is an excellent reminder that accidents can happen in a blink of an eye.

Using an eyelid, they were able to emphasize their message strongly and make sure everyone is prepared and capable of being behind the wheel.

The obvious success in this case was their use of creativity, a great way to grab attention and drive home your message.

When marketing in any situation, delivering your message in a completely unique way that no one has one before is one of the best ways to set yourself apart from your competition.

5. Provide relevant, useful, and valuable insights.

road safety infographic

In this infographic by FeelGood Contacts, they didn’t just share data on UK road accidents and statistics, but they also shared how to avoid road mishaps from happening. When you provide relevant, useful, and valuable insights, users walk away remembering your ad because of the value you’ve given them.

The lesson here is always to give your audience added value — no matter what it may be. Whether you’re promoting a product or service, always have your prospective customers in mind. In the age of content marketing, providing value through your marketing efforts has become the most effective way to build strong relationships with your target audience.

Takeaway for Marketers.

Technology today has taught consumers to decipher whether your marketing efforts are a promotion or personalization. When you personalize your marketing efforts like those we see in road safety campaigns, you can become relevant to the audience that matters. It might not always give you the biggest reach, but it will definitely bring you closer to those who will greatly benefit from your product or service.

Truth be told, it isn’t always easy to create quality content that your target market can relate to. That’s why it’s important to get to know your audience and listen to what they have to say. Through social listening and addressing online sentiments, you can gauge how well your brand is relating to the market and identify what subjects or topics would be the most relevant.

Just like road safety campaigns, we see that the power of an image isn’t about dictating what people should do or what they should be buying—they paint an effect, the outcome, the ability to change, the choice, or their power to choose.

People view these road safety campaigns as a friendly reminder. It makes them rethink their decisions and behaviors on the road. It’s all about the message and how you tell your story. When you speak from the heart, it inspires people to act. Create ads that make people think. Be bold, creative, and move lives.

Tom Fishburne from Marketoonist once said “The best form of marketing doesn’t feel like marketing” – and guess what? He was right.


Pierre de Braux

Pierre de Braux is a content strategist at Spiralytics, Inc who enjoys reading, writing and learning about pretty much anything sales and marketing-related. He loves sports, food, meeting new people and of course, watching cat videos. Follow Pierre on Twitter @PierredeBraux.


This is an article contributed to Young Upstarts and published or republished here with permission. All rights of this work belong to the authors named in the article above.

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